Nestled into the corner of the Library façade are a number of blue light-emitting diodes. To the casual observer, a shimmering cascade of light appears to flow down the wall. Quickly it becomes evident that what one sees are actually words flowing through each other at different rates. They are difficult to read unless you follow the movement of only one line of text at a time and you discover that you are looking at research being carried out within the Library. These include searches of online resources, record titles of materials being checked in and out of the Library, and lists of recent additions to the Library's collections. All of this data will feed the display revealing the activity within.
Bluerain is an artwork designed for the Southwest corner of the Lionel Robbins building at 10 Portugal Street. The work is an interactive experience for LSE students and staff as well as neighbours in the nearby office buildings which include the Royal College of Surgeons, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, and tourists passing on the way to see The Old Curiosity Shop.
The Lionel Robbins Building contains the world's largest Library devoted exclusively to the social sciences. It collects materials on a world-wide basis, in printed and electronic formats and in all major European languages
The building has always been a repository of information and just as information technology has changed from paper to digital, we are reflecting that by translating the research going on inside the building to a flow of data on the outside of the building. The artwork offers a sampling of what is happening inside the Library.